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U.S. Swiss attorney generals investigations into FIFA corruption continuing

Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch said that the Justice Department's investigation FIFA officials has expended since handing down indictments in May. Her comments, in Zurich, home of FIFA headquarters, quelled any speculation that the world soccer organization was in the clear. Moreover, Swiss authorities said that a World Cup TV contract that bears Sepp Blatter's signature is also part of their investigation.

"Separate and apart from the pending indictment, our investigation remains active and ongoing. It has in fact expanded since May. The scope of our investigation is not limited and we are following the evidence where it leads," said Lynch. "We do anticipate pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities."

The Justice department arrested and indicted 14 people in May, nine from FIFA, including several members of the FIFA executive committee. The allegations included money laundering, racketeering and fraud. Despite that, Blatter was re-elected as FIFA president, but then announced he would step down in the coming months. He has yet to step down.

In the wake of the indictments, Blatter said, "I have my conscience and I know I’m an honest man. I am clean. I am not a worried man."

The Swiss investigation has put Blatter in the center of alleged wrongdoing, though. Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber confirmed that a 2005 TV contract signed by Blatter is being looked into. The contract allegedly gave former CONCACAF president Jack Warner World Cup TV rights at a discounted price, which he then sold for a huge profit, in exchange for Warner's support of Blatter in FIFA presidential elections. Warner was indicted by FIFA in May.

The legal problems surrounding FIFA have put all of world soccer into question. In the United States, the planned Copa America Centenario, has been thrown into doubt. Jeffrey Webb, who replaced Warner as CONCACAF president, was also indicted and the direction of the confederation isn't clear. The planned reforms could force U.S. Soccer to make changes to the federations as well, while FIFA officials have shown a hesitation to travel to the U.S. out of fear of being arrested.

The longer that these investigations go on, the more unclear the future of the sport is in flux. The sport's hierarchy are being investigated and some could end up in prison, while the methods that FIFA conducted business and several contract with innocent parties could be called into question. If there was any belief that the investigations and allegations would be done after the May investigations, or that FIFA could simply chart a new course, that is gone now. U.S. and Swiss authorities are in this for the long haul, and that means FIFA is too.